Report: Valley not keeping pace with state home sales

Valley home sales were sluggish in May compared to CaliforniaValley home sales were sluggish in May compared to CaliforniaCalifornia home sales and prices saw solid gains in May with the sales pace the highest since February 2009, the California Association of Realtors reported today.

Sales of single-family homes totaled 572,260 in the month, 3.4 percent over April and 21.5 percent over May 2011.

Home prices rose 4.6 percent in the month and 7.8 percent over last year to an average of $550,400.

In Fresno County, home sales were up 4.5 percent over April and 3.3 percent over May 2011. The median price of a home rose 1.1 percent during the month and 3.5 percent over last year to $141,580.

In Kings County, sales dropped 8.6 percent from April and 1.3 percent from May 2011. May's median price of $145,000 is 4.5 percent below the month before but 5.3 percent above last year.

Madera County saw home sales fall 15.4 percent in May and 21.4 percent year-over-year. The median home price, while slipping 9.6 percent in the month, increased 6.5 percent over the year to $124,290.

Tulare County home sales were up 2.4 percent over April but down 10.9 from May 2011. The median home price of $123,190 showed a decline of 4 percent from April but a 4.4 percent bump from last year.

California's unsold inventory index, or number of months to deplete the supply of homes at the current sales rate, dropped to 3.5 months compared to 4.2 months in April and 5.7 months in May 2011.

The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home fell to 46.6 days compared to 48.9 days in April and 52 days in May 2011.

"Low housing inventory continues to be a critical issue in the California market," said C.A.R. Vice President Leslie Appleton-Young. "Inventory levels have not been this low since December 2005, when the supply matched the current level. The Bay Area has the greatest shortage of homes for sales."